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New Pitt Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing Opens With Talk on Health Care Reform Effects on Medication Use

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 7, 2013 – A new center focused on improving the quality, safety and value of medication use has been established at the University of Pittsburgh, and it will celebrate its launch with an inaugural lecture delivered by one of the nation’s experts in evaluating medication use and payment and delivery systems in health care.
The Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing (CP3) will foster multidisciplinary collaboration in its mission to inform public policy regarding pharmaceuticals and improve patient and physician decision-making about prescription medicines, said its co-director, Walid Gellad, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of medicine in Pitt’s School of Medicine.
“This effort is particularly important because the Affordable Care Act will change the landscape of health care delivery,” he noted. “We can expect to have many more people with access to medical care and prescription drugs, and medications will be managed in the context of new payment and delivery systems focused on quality and value. 
Center co-director Julie Donohue, Ph.D., an associate professor of health policy and management at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health, said CP3 researchers will examine emerging challenges in pharmaceutical policy, including the integration of genomic information into prescription decisions through personalized medicine; the cost of biologic medication; and the effects of telemedicine and new models of care on the prescribing process.
According to Everette James, J.D., M.B.A., director of the Health Policy Institute, which is housing CP3, Pitt already has many experts studying different aspects of medication use and delivery across the pharmacy, public health, nursing and medical schools.
“We have a strong constellation of faculty working in pharmaceutical policy and this new center will foster even greater collaboration and research to inform policymaking in this important area,” he said.
The Center will host free public quarterly lectures on pharmaceutical policy topics. William Shrank, M.D., of Harvard Medical School, will discuss “How Health Reform Paves the Way for Improving Medication Use” at noon, Thursday, Oct. 10, at Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 6.
Until recently, Dr. Shrank served as the director of the evaluation group at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In that role, he led the evaluation of a $10 billion health reform research agenda to develop and test new payment models aimed at reducing the cost and improving the quality of care.

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